Spatial Data Infrastructures in Malta: State of play Spring 2003

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1 Spatial Data Infrastructures in : State of play Spring 2003 Country report on SDI elaborated in the context of a study commissioned by the EC (EUROSTAT & DGENV) in the framework of the INSPIRE initiative August 2003 SPATIAL APPLICATIONS DIVISION K.U.LEUVEN RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT Vital Decosterstraat 102, B-3000 LEUVEN TEL.: FAX: URL:

2 Report meta-information Title Spatial Data Infrastructures in : State of play Spring 2003 Creator Marco Fritz (SADL) & Peter Beusen (ICRI) Date Issued Subject INSPIRE State of Play Activities 1 & 3 Publisher K.U.Leuven (SADL + ICRI) + Margaret Hall consultant (HALL) Description This report is summarizing the review of SDI in Contributor Catharina Bamps (SADL), Jos Van Orshoven (SADL) Format MS Word 97/2000 Audience Identifier rrcmtv5.doc Language EN Coverage Snapshot at Version number Date Modified by Comments Marco Fritz First version (SADL) & Peter Beusen (ICRI) Marco Fritz (SADL) Second version according to harmonized template Jos Van Orshoven (SADL) Completion & harmonization with 31 other country reports Catharina Bamps (SADL) Consolidation of comments received from : Mr Robert Mizzi (Manager Information Services Library & Information Unit - National Statistics Office), Mr. Saviour Formosa (Maltese Environmental Planning Authority); Addition of : - Report meta-information - Executive summary Jos Van Orshoven (SADL) - Abbreviations/acronyms Harmonisation with 31 other country reports

3 Executive summary Based on limited information, we have found that in, production, management and dissemination of (rather large scale) spatial reference and core thematic data is almost the exclusive responsibility of the Environmental and Planning Authority in general and the subordinate National Mapping Agency in particular. Other organizations which are producing spatial information and conducting spatial information system projects include the Land Registry, the National Statistics Office and the Local councils. The utilities and the private sector are also increasingly looking at GIS as a means to develop and manage their business. Although MEPA/NMA have no mandate to develop an NSDI, they conduct efforts which may provide the basis for a future NSDI: The creation of a national GI-association for all stakeholders, The development of a web-mapping service ( ) oriented towards spatial planning information for citizens. The extension of the use of GIS from purely physical and land-based issues towards the socio-economical domain (population change, employment, crime mapping). The planning and design of a metadata service Participation in EU-funded and other international projects like CLC2000 has clearly contributed to raising awareness for SDI-issues. Progress with respect to legal issues is mainly driven by obligations resulting from the Aarhus convention. signed the Convention on Access to Information, Public Participation in Decision Making and Access to justice in Environmental Matters in December 1998 and ratified the convention in April K.U.Leuven (SADL-ICRI) + Hall 1


5 Abbreviations and acronyms CLC Corine Land Cover CT Core Thematic Data FIR Further Investigation Required GI Geographical Information GIS Geographical Information System INSPIRE INfrastructure for SPatial InfoRmation in Europe MEDICOZ Mediterranean Integrated Coastal Zone Directory MEPA Maltese Environmental Planning Authority NSDI National Spatial Data Infrastructures PPP Public-Private Partnerships PSI Policy and legislation on access to public sector information REF Reference data SDI Spatial Data Infrastructures K.U.Leuven (SADL-ICRI) + Hall 3

6 1 GENERAL INFORMATION 1.1 Method This report aims at summarizing the state of play of SDI in, and at reflecting the degree to which the SDI situation in is similar to the ideas set out in the INSPIRE position papers 1. Since documents, project references could hardly be found, the report is based mainly on the study of the few web sites readily accessible in English (some sites with technical specifications or illustrations also in Maltese). The report has been completed by integration and consolidation of comments received from representatives of the National Statistics Office and the Maltese Environmental Planning Authority. The comments were provided in written form ( ). 1.2 The Maltese GI-/SDI-scene The main provider of GI in is the National Mapping Agency that forms part of the Environment and Planning Authority. Core data are available at small scale and for 50% of the territory at larger scales. Implementation of metadata by NMA is planned. Organizations which are developing spatial information systems include the Land Registry, the National Statistics Office and the Local councils. The utilities and the private sector are also increasingly looking at GIS as a means to develop and manage their business. The coordination with respect to production, management and distribution of GI between those organizations is limited. No NSDI-policy framework is in place. Nevertheless mainly the planning agency is increasing the use of GIS across several areas. Currently access to digital information is not easy. In addition there is: A lack of updated reference data such as addresses and postcodes, Embryonic metadata and a lack of culture of data documentation, though this is now gaining ground, Non transparent practices such as data hoarding, high pricing limiting access and overprotection of some key datasets, Lack of resources to convert digital data, 1 INSPIRE position papers, final versions: RDM, ETC, DPLI, ASF, IST, IAS (latest version). K.U.Leuven (SADL-ICRI) + Hall 4

7 There are plans to create a socio-economic and reference data base and to provide data such as environmental data via the web to the public, including 3D mapping applications. This already exists in a full blown web-gis developed for the MEPA through which users have access to an e-government site on all development planning applications. [1] does not have a national GI association. At present Maltese GI professionals are members of the Association for Geographic Information in UK. The set up of a national GI association is however planned for the next two years and following points of attention have been mentioned (Wolfkamp, 2003).: The setting-up of a spatial infrastructure around a Web-GIS, through which the benefits of GIS are highlighted for public participation. A system already exists ( )as developed by the MEPA ( Environment and Planning Authority) which covers the planning development database, and environmental and archaeology data, amongst other. Users can extract information from aerial imagery, base maps and print reports and data. The initiation of laws regarding information and access to the same information. The spreading of GI knowledge across major interested parties and development of GI in such areas as crime, cadastral layers, utilities and environmental areas. Involvement of the private sector, which is however restricted by the limitations of a very small market though this may develop into a Mediterranean-wide initiative. Following initiatives are mentioned as they may provide a basis for initiation and development of a NSDI in. [1] The Maltese authorities were partners in the Mediterranean Integrated Coastal Zone Directory (MEDICOZ) project, where they assisted in the identification of national datasets; the setting-up of a metadata directory; provision of expertise on data manipulation and transfer to various GIS data formats and development and design of hard copy and digital maps at both national or Mediterranean levels, as well as providing expertise on web-mapping technology and development of Web-GIS interfaces and interactive systems. The CLC 2000 project will enable the Maltese to integrate land use information into a GIS, provide a metadata directory, create web-mapping solutions for specialist and public users, facilitate the analysis of coastal zone datasets and provide cross-sector analysis tools and will provide a focal point for future data creation and GIS tools based on the OpenGis methodological framework. K.U.Leuven (SADL-ICRI) + Hall 5

8 Via INTERREG III, Maltese Authorities are seeking cooperation with countries of the Western Mediterranean and Archimed transnational coordination programs to identify methods for the application for GIS and remote sensing for monitoring and preparing land use planning policies. Via EEA and EC Environmental data requirements, data is being compiled in a GIS format for eventual internet-dissemination purposes [1] 2 Details of NSDI-like activities of MEPA/NMA 2.1 General Information Considering the Maltese GI/SDI-scene, it can be concluded that the two major (potential) SDI players are the National Mapping Agency and the National Office of Statistics. Currently both are mainly in charge of building up and maintaining GI-databases. [5], [9] The National Mapping Agency is to be considered as the main driver for the implementation of GIS in. The Agency forms part of the Environment and Planning Authority, which has already enabled greater integration of GIS in different areas and applications, away from the purely physical and land-based issues into the socio-economic domain (population change, employment, crime mapping). 2.2 Component 1: Legal framework and funding [3], [4] Legal framework and organizational issues The Government plans to enact legislation on information. An Electronic Commerce Bill, a Data Protection Bill and a Computer Misuse bill are in progress. [1] No legal initiatives for a national GI-strategy or SDI-framework have been taken until now. [1] Public-private partnerships (PPP s) No information has been found. K.U.Leuven (SADL-ICRI) + Hall 6

9 2.2.3 Policy and legislation on access to public sector information (PSI) Such policy and legislation is currently under review. This is especially driven by the Aarhus convention. signed the Convention on Access to Information, Public Participation in Decision Making and Access to justice in Environmental Matters in December 1998 and ratified the convention in April Legal protection of GI by intellectual property rights The Copyright Act (Act XIII of 2000) to make new provision in respect of copyright and neighbouring rights and certain sui generis intellectual property rights in substitution of the provisions of the Copyright Act, Cap. 196 already was amended by Act VI of Article 25 of the Copyright Act provides for a sui generis right in respect to databases. Regarding the copyright works of government and international bodies, article 6 of the Copyright Act stipulates that copyright shall be conferred by this article on every work which is eligible for copyright and which is made by or under the direction or control of the Government of and also such governments of other States, international bodies or other intergovernmental organisations as may be prescribed by the Minister responsible for the Industrial Property Office Restricted access to GI further to the legal protection of privacy The Maltese Data Protection Act (Act XXVI of 2001 came into force on 22 March 2002 It makes provision for the protection of individuals against the violation of their privacy by the processing of personal data and for matters connected therewith or ancillary thereto Licencing framework No information ahs been found nor was provided Funding model for SDI and pricing policy No information has been found nor was provided. K.U.Leuven (SADL-ICRI) + Hall 7

10 2.3 Component 2: Reference data and core thematic data Scale and resolution: European, National, Regional, Local, Other Data is available with the NMA at 1:25,000, 1:2,500 and 1:1,000, i.e. the so-called local scale range. Given the small size of the island of, smaller scales are not useful. [2], [8] Reference data and core thematic data by resolution or scale range (see table next page) REF = Reference data, CT = Core Thematic Data K.U.Leuven (SADL-ICRI) + Hall 8

11 Geographical location Typ e Inspir e priorit y European National Regional Local Other (indicate scale) Geodetic reference system REF H Geographical names REF H Y Geographical grid CT H Administrative units Official administrative REF H Y units Blocks and census REF M districts Properties, buildings and addresses Properties REF L Y Buildings REF L Y Addresses REF H Elevation Elevation REF H Y Bathymetry REF H Coastline REF H Y Hydrography REF H Y Hydrography, river, lake. Land surface Ortho-images REF H Y Unclassified satellite CT M images Natural resource Water catchments CT H Groundwater bodies CT H Soil CT H Bedrock geology CT L Climatic regions/data CT L Bio-ecological regions CT M Vegetation CT L Land Cover CT H Transport Transport networks REF H Y K.U.Leuven (SADL-ICRI) + Hall 9

12 Transport facilities REF L Facilities M Location of facilities CT M Location of utilities CT M Land use regulation Protected areas CT H Y Land regulation/land use CT H Y plans Demography Demographic attribute data CT H [2] [8] K.U.Leuven (SADL-ICRI) + Hall 10

13 2.3.3 Geodetic reference systems and projections Maps and geodatasets are produced according to ED50 European Datum 50 UTM WGS84 is used for satellite imagery Quality of the reference data & core thematic data Data is cross-checked. For CLC2000 cross-checking will be done with EEA Interoperability Fulinteroperability is the target Language and culture English 2.4 Component 3: Metadata for reference data and core thematic data Availability of metadata for the reference data No evidence could be found regarding the availability of metadata at more or less significant basis. A culture of data documentation seems to be absent. However, a metadata service is planned by the Planning Authority [1] Metadata catalogues availability + standard No details could be found about the planned metadata service Dublin core metadata standards for GI-discovery Not applicable K.U.Leuven (SADL-ICRI) + Hall 11

14 2.5 Component 4: Access and other services for reference data, core thematic data and their metadata On-line access service for reference data metadata & core thematic data No details could be found about the metadata service which is planned by the Planning Authority On-line access service for reference data & core thematic data Not available Inter-linkages of on-line access services for metadata and reference data resp. core thematic data Not applicable OpenSource software and access services Not applicable Availability of web mapping service(s) A development Web-GIS server is available at It provides mainly spatial information on planning issues. Also, in the project Mediterranean Integrated Coastal Zone Directory (MEDICOZ) in which participated, attention was paid to web-mapping technology and development of Web-GIS interfaces Availability of catalogue services to regulate access Not available Availability of catalogue services that perform payment operations Not available Availability of catalogue services to extract and send data to a user application Not available K.U.Leuven (SADL-ICRI) + Hall 12

15 2.5.9 SDI user applications Not available Availability of geo-processing services Not available 2.6 Component 5: Standards No information has been found or provided. 2.7 Component 6: Thematic environmental data MEPA (Maltese Environmental Planning Authority) presents on its website an Environmental Impact Assessment procedure and an overview of cases. Overview maps can be accessed by mouse click but not modified. All pending EIA applications can be accessed though the Active Maps button as well as through the GIS Maps Image-Mapping buttons on the left. This is the result of an exercise aimed at integrating Geographical Information Systems (GIS) with the Internet medium enabling wider dissemination of information. [2] K.U.Leuven (SADL-ICRI) + Hall 13

16 3 Annexes 3.1 List of SDI addresses / contacts for Table: SDI contact list SDI Name (full) Web address Organisational mailing address National National Statistics office National Mapping Agency Planning Authority [9] me.asp?l=2&url= t/index.htm Valletta - MALTA Mapping Unit, St Francis Ravelin, Floriana, PO Box 200, Valletta CMR 01 Over-all contact person: tel./fax/ Telephone: (+356) Fax: (+356) , (+356) Tel: Fax: List of references for Table: list of references used to compile the Country Report Web sites: [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9] K.U.Leuven (SADL-ICRI) + Hall 14

17 Publications : M. Craglia and J. F. Dallemand: Geographic Information and the Enlargement of the European Union. EUROGI-European Commission Workshop. Brussels, 16-17/11/2000. Technical Report. EUR EN [1] Wolfkamp A., (16 February 2003) Survey of National Geographic Information Associations in Europe, GINIE D3.1.1, Network in Europe, IST K.U.Leuven (SADL-ICRI) + Hall 15